Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's Behind The Charm of Home

Today you can get a peak into what I do to make The Charm of Home exist each week.  I am happy to join Kathy of A Delightsome Life.   If it wasn't for Kathy asking me to share this info with you I probably wouldn't have thought of it. 


Well to start with, blogs are a lot like icebergs!  I saw this graphic and it was exactly what I wanted to portray.  You only see maybe up to 4 posts a week on TCOH but, hour upon hour goes into making this blog run.  Let's look a little closer and I will show you why this is so.  First of all correspondence is very time consuming.  It involves giveaways, advertising, reviews, new products, feedback, and possibly event invitations.  Luckily I am to the point I get all of these and I don't always participate due to small children at home, schedule, etc.  But, I have to read and respond.   Then you have questions about anything and everything to answer that come in through email.  I do answer most (legitimate) questions within 24 hours.  I do try to visit and read my favorite blogs each week also.  I can do this better now in my sidebar than I do in my reader since Blogger reorganized the reader it seems a bit useless.  Commenting is a hot topic.  The rule of thumb in the blogging community is to comment to every comment you receive.  Well....I can't get to them all.  Sorry, I just can't.  I try to visit all the people who join me each week at Home Sweet Home (my party).  At the current number I get for that party, around 120 a week, it takes 8 hours to visit each participant and look at, at least one of their post.  I have tried for the last year to have a rule of thumb not to spend more than 4 hours a day in my computer chair. (But at least once a week I spend 12 hours a day in this chair! Ha!)  So I tend to break up visiting with the participants into two days.  I am also doing this at the end of the week closer to my next party date because I feel it reminds people to join me for the upcoming party.  That seems to keep my party numbers up.  I am really happy with the party.  It is a lot of fun and I really enjoying visiting you each week.  Lots of talent and inspiration visit me!   
So for the rest of the comments I get all week long, I try to pick some to visit but, I just don't get to them all.  


So, how do I organize my post in the planning stage each week.  I have a running idea sheet on a legal pad and then when the pictures are taken and the post is in draft I use this organizer to participate in each party every week. 

 I not only just post to the blog, I post to Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.  These social media outlets are perfect ways to grow your blog.  Why do I pick these?  Tumblr is for the visual people and it showcases my photography well.  Google+ is a way for those who don't have a Blogger Blog or who don't like Facebook to view my content.  Pinterest is a social media dynamo.  It also showcases my blog really well because it is so visual and people are really getting this.  It is like looking at a virtual magazine everyday.  It is a very powerful social media tool and if you aren't using it go ask for an invite.  You will enjoy it, I promise.  Twitter was one that surprised me.  I really thought I wouldn't like it and I have been doing it a few months now and I love it.  It is the most abbreviated version of all social media and I love to read tweets and view photos posted.  So much so, that I may have a smart phone soon!  It is awesome!   Now that brings us to Facebook!  The most powerful social media tool but, for me the most disappointing.   When I first started to blog I was hacked through Facebook and they also hacked my blog.  I just kept on blogging on another computer but, I haven't trusted it since.  Oh, and my blog automatically feeds to people in RSS feeds, in email, and through Networked Blogs. 

What I like about blogging the most is connecting with people.  I'm getting to meet online so many interesting people that I would never have the chance to know.  I also like that I get to use my design skills that otherwise would stay buried and unused in my daily life.  It is a wonderful thing to be creative.  
 I try to balance it all.  I am raising a family and staying at home with all of my time involved with the family.  I do babysit several days a week and that keeps me hopping.  I have tried expanding into an Etsy shop but, I don't feel I do it justice because I never have the time to sew or hunt up many treasures for resale.   I even on occasion substitute teach.   I have never had any help with this blog.  I have just learned it all on my own.  I have met a few bloggers who were a lot of help to me and I have tried to help them out when they have had questions.  I have not had any money to spend on this blog, so I have never hired a professional blog designer.
What might I have done differently?  In trying ways to increase my revenue on my blog I tried an affiliate program.  I had several buttons for retail outlets on my blog for months and it gained me nothing.  I feel affiliates didn't work for my blog at all.  So, I wouldn't waste my time with them again.   What has worked for me to generate revenue, well, if you have the time Etsy is a great way to sell handmade or vintage items.  It really works.  I also have had a really good experience with BlogHer.   They have a review program and paid advertising which both are working out for TCOH.


 I don't plan to take my blog to a different platform.  I am not looking to publish it differently and as much as Blogger gives everyone trouble on occasion, I think it being owned by Google puts you in a good position to help you grow.  So, I am staying put. 

 The most important thing I have gained from blogging?  I have been most amazed at the sweet, sweet comments so many people leave me.  In the beginning, I would wonder why  was I blogging, what good was it doing?  My husband dared me to do it.  I had never really read a decorating blog.  If I had, I would have never ever put that first post up.   I would have days; after I found the other decorating blogs, when I would feel down about blogging and then someone would leave me a sweet comment and I would feel so blessed to be able to connect with you and hear those kind words.  So the most important thing for me has been encouragement and connecting with you.  Thank you!  I appreciate it very much.
Sherry

21 comments:

Courtenay@Creek Line House said...

Love that iceberg graphic! I really don't do enough of the beneath the surface stuff, but I'm trying to find more time. Thanks for sharing your story!

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

Hello Sherry,
I just wanted to thank you once again for agreeing to my request and thank you for doing such an exceptional job. You are an inspiration and a complete Delight!
Hugs,
Kathy

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

First it is so nice to see the face behind the blog. Yes, blogging is time consuming. You are way more organized than me. I do have notes and write down my party features, but I don't plant much ahead. I only do facebook besides the blog. I am just not that into social media. The thought of commenting back to every comment was possible in the beginning, but I am like you there is just not enough time now. I think we all understand that. So glad to have found your blog long time ago. You have wonderful photography.

Nancy Wolff said...

Sherry, thank you for such an informative blog! As a new blogger http://homefront.prudentliving.com/ I am constantly learning what works (Pinterest, twitter, Facebook) and things seems to be taking off! Really appreciate you sharing everything you've been learning!

Natasha in Oz said...

This was such a great post Sherry! I loved your thoughts on blogging and it was so wonderful to finally see your beautiful face! Now I really feel like I know you even more. We really do have so much in common don't we!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom on blogging and for being so honest! I really feel so blessed to have "met" you via the great big world of blogging!

Best wishes,
Natasha in Oz.

PS Please don't delete your photo!
PPS You are so organised!!! I am so impressed!

Shirley said...

What's behind 'The Charm Of Home'? Well, I know..friendship, great inspiration, charm, home life and happiness...

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Sherry: Thank you for putting all the workings of doing a blog and doing it right out there. (Like you do). I was never one for social networking, my daughter tried to talk me into Facebook, but no thanks. Truly it's kind of scary to me that I would ever take it too far, I'm very technically challenged, and I just love taking pictures, sharing my home and family with new friends and learning about what's going on with them. To know that there are a few people who enjoy my ramblings, is very dear to me, and about as far as I will take it, but I admire anyone who can. And, by the way, did I miss something along the way, or did you not let us know that you were featured in the June issue of Romantic Homes. Congratulations and I'm really sorry if I missed your announcement. It is getting harder to answer everyone, and I have no idea how someone as busy as you can do it at all, but you have a beautiful blog..Happy Wednesday..Judy

martinealison said...

Je découvre grâce à Kathy avec beaucoup de plaisir votre blog...
Il est juste que le monde de la blogosphère est un monde particulièrement merveilleux mais qui absorbe une majeure partie de votre temps. Il n'est pas possible de répondre à tous de manière régulière.
Je vous fais de gros bisous.

classic • casual • home said...

This was a well thought out and well written post...and cute photo of you!

Debbie said...

I really love the iceberg graphic and think it's a very apt description. I don't do any social media at all, but that's OK with me because I'm so odd that I don't really mind being a tiny fish in the pond for some reason.

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Sherry,
I only post once a week at most and even that one simple post is time consuming for me, so I just want to say thanks for all the time you put into hosting your party and publishing your posts filled with beautiful photographs. I haven't figured out all the social aspects of blogging and probably never will, but I'm having fun along the way. Thanks for sharing your story today.

Vickie

Carlene @ Organized Clutter said...

I love your blog I wouldn't change a thing! Great format, great vignettes, awesome photography!

Cynthia said...

I read this yesterday on Delightsome Life and found it informative and very well written. Very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

Cynthia

Wild Oak Designs said...

Wow, what a lot of work! Beautiful photos too....your blog is awesome.
Nancy
http://wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

Rebecca said...

Thank you for all the valuable insight to what it takes to run a blog. As a stay at home Mom, I have thought about blogging as a way to generate income as well as stay in tune to the adult world. May I ask a nosey question? How much income do you generate with your blog, considering all the hard work and organization you put into it? Is it worth your time?

I can see why your blog is enjoyable to read, you put a lot of work into it. From my perspective, it is worth it.

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

Sherry this was fascinating! Being just over a year into blogging, I am always interested in how others 'do it'. I never thought of using Tumblr, etc. to gather more interest in my blog. I try to limit my time to just an hour a day for now so I'm not expecting my blog to explode :) I also love your notes and how you 'organize' your thoughts on your posts as well - thanks for sharing it all!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Sherry...so nice to see the "person behind the blog"....I am so in awe of your organization....You truly put so much work and effort into this and it truly shows in your beautiful blog....Thank so much for presenting such wonderful tips that we can all learn from....thanks for all of your wonderful inspiration!

Heaven's Walk said...

What fun to learn more about you, Sherry! Thank you for opening your soul and sharing who you are. You are definitely loved out here in blogland, girlie! :)

xoxo laurie

rockpaperscissors said...

Sherry, thank you so very much for telling your story.

Denise at PinkPostcard. said...

so so SO valuable!!! thank you! I love all of what you shared- I go back and forth with how I want to define what I do with blogging....but I am so like you. Thank you.

Kimberly said...

Thank you for sharing this! It is fun to learn more from someone so good at what they do

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